Friday, October 16, 2009

Levy election date is low tactic

Franz Suhadolnik lives in Sun Valley.


At a time when every effort is being made to make voting easier and to encourage every citizen to vote, it is revealing that the Blaine County School District, by admission of its superintendent, is attempting to smother the vote. A school levy vote should stand on its own merits and not be manipulated.

The Oct. 7 edition reports in the Mountain Express that Superintendent Lonnie Barber admits the levy vote is deliberately being held on a date different from the general election. The polling place locations are different than those that citizens are accustomed to and absentee ballots are difficult to obtain. This is a deliberate attempt to suppress the vote.

This chicanery is disingenuous and unsavory. It reflects poorly on the school district and its superintendent. It sets a poor example for our children and is a questionable civics lesson. Machinations similar to these were used to suppress black votes prior to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Mr. Barber's argument that the levy will be an economic benefit to the community and that 80 percent of the money will remain in the community is a false argument. The money is already in the community. Anytime you tax money away from citizens there is less to spend in the community and that hurts the community. Holding the vote on a date different from the general election adds an additional expense at a time when money is in short supply.

As a former school board member and husband of a schoolteacher I am sensitive to the financial needs of public schools. However, it is a well-known fact that local schools have double the funding of the average Idaho school district, so why the need for additional funding?

Local citizens are entitled to request and receive information on the administrative cost of their school district as well on as individual salaries including perks, add-ons and benefits. I would encourage local citizens to avail themselves of this information.

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